Stay together for the children?

Ok I will try and keep this really short. I'm male and have been married for ten years and have two wonderful children, but have been having an affair for one year now. My girlfriend is also married with two children also. We are both completely in love (I'm experienced enough to know that it is real) and we have both said that we have met the love of our lives. So if we both didn't have children then we would have both left our partners by now. So the question is do I stay with my wife for the sake of the children, or risk everything to be with the love of my life? The key thing is that if I decide to leave, my wife will control the access to my children and knowing her it will be kept to a minimum and I don't think I could handle that. Equally I can't bring myself to say goodbye to my girlfriend either!! Any ideas?
Hushpuppy11 Hushpuppy11
11 Responses May 25, 2012

If the status quo is fine then go on as is and see where the chips fall.

You are all very very wrong, you cannot break something that is already broken, you cannot stay with someone just for the sake of children, they still grow up to be just as good kids, I didn't have a dad and I'm grateful for the way I was raised.
It's human nature to step away from things we don't like, you wouldn't get rid of something you like and know to be true; life is all about happiness and finding that happiness, once you've found that happiness you wouldn't turn around and throw it all away.
People need to be true to themselves and true to their hearts
Because the one thing worth fighting for in life is love that connection that bond with someone special, you may have had the same connection with your wife tho its certainly not there anymore, yes you can try and rebuild it but why when you already have a new stronger love for someone who makes you happy ?
Why would you risk being unhappy for anything, nothing is worth being unhappy for, follow your heart, the road may be tough it may test you, but this isn't teenage love anymore each time we fall we fall harder and harder. I loved my ex very very much and I know I'll always have some sense of caring for her but there's a reason there an ex, there's a reason you fall in love with someone else, because your heart makes it's available to someone else without you even thinking.
When this first started I hadn't set out to see anyone else and I was fixed on solving my current problems and the feelings began to grow so intensely and they came back and back again and every time I pushed this person away and let them out and began to show all my feelings which had shown.
Love is worth fighting if it isn't then what hell are we fighting to protect.<br />
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I was in a similar circumstance and the present state of my experience is being discussed at the link above (at least I hope the link works, I just cut and pasted it).<br />
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"Breaking my own heart by ending an affair...." is roughly the title of the discussion. <br />
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I continued the affair for another year longer than your 1 year affair. I got caught. My advice is do not make any sudden moves (and if it is love, set it free, if it comes back to you it is yours...that common philosophy comes to mind). Be deliberate and very reflective. I really think that the deciding factor in these situations is related to just how BAD is your current relationship and is it salvageable? Affairs have very addictive qualities, they exist in a realm on par with adolescent sentimentality and intensity, and the sexual components of them can be very blinding. Infatuation can last from 9 months to 4 years according to research (Psychology Today) then fades into the reality we all must return to at which point the damage is already done and you get to really access your decision as a Monday morning quarterback who has no influence on how the game played out and no ability to turn back time. You simply cannot know what is best from your current vantage can only try to imagine what you can live with without the benefit of knowing exactly WHAT you will be living with. Beware of the advice of people who have only recently made the plunge into the arms of their affair/lover for good...they can't yet understand the full weight of their decisions. They are making conjectures from their own circumstances and all of the circumstances are going to be unique and different in significant ways....and I especially don't trust an optimistic "everything is gonna be alright" attitude about the blissful harmony all the children will soon experience in the new combination of families. I think you are already contemplating the resentment you might feel in being denied full access to the life of your are already answering your own that nagging feeling related to YOUR children any less vague than your imagined bliss in your new relationship? No, it isn' just cannot know. Be very, very careful.... that being said....I question whether or not I am being brave and noble in staying in my marriage or simply weak because I am not taking the plunge with my crazy, over-the-top, head over heels affair. And I will never know for sure...but how many loves have you had in the past that lasted over a year and still ended....that you no longer even think about with any regularity....after a decade of marriage we can forget a lot of things we knew very well when we were in our dating life.

"Affairs have very addictive qualities, they exist in a realm on par with adolescent sentimentality and intensity, and the sexual components of them can be very blinding."

This is very well written...and a spot on warning. The word "adolescent" is used perfectly in this sentence because like adolescents...affairs are all about selfishness. It's time to grow up, be an adult and act like one.

You simply cannot know what is best from your current vantage can only try to imagine what you can live with without the benefit of knowing exactly WHAT you will be living with. Well said

DONT opt for the affair. I know its not what you want to hear but when they find out (and its a when not an if) they will never see you the same way. People grow apart. Its a terrible truth and divorce is painful, but at least its honest. At least it doesnt make you feel that your father chose a stranger over your family, your mother and you. Every time I look at my dad I think of his selfish, cowardly and callous affair. Thats why I look at him as little as possible.

I agree...what will they think of you? I could never diminish myself that way in my children's eyes. What they think of me means everything. Extreme selfishness!

well stated ijustwantyoutoknowwhoiam!!

just remember, the marriage that you have is what you teach your children a marriage is. what type of love do you want them to pursue, what you have with your wife or with your girlfriend? ill tell you, my parents didnt fight like cats and dogs or anything dramatic like that but they also never expressed love for each other, certainly seemed like they had a marriage completely devoid of adult intimacy. and now as an adult i realize that im in my own non-intimate marriage. your understanding of what adult love should be comes from what your parents teach you. leaving an unhappy marriage shows kids that youre better off alone than unhappy, that youre strong enough to make it. finding a new, more compatible partner gives you the opportunity to show your children a love they can aspire to. good luck. life isnt easy but you may have found a blessing in disguise here.

How about teaching your children to honor vows and commitments to start with. Show them what a marriage looks like without cheating, lying and betrayal. Then teach them not to dispose of a marriage like it is a paper cup because staying together requires work, effort and sacrifice…life ethics that seem to be vanishing in today's super-selfish society. Teach them not to seek external validation from others to be happy and that true happiness comes from within. Teach them honesty, respect and empathy for others.

those are great things to teach your kids. but you also must teach your kids what true love looks like bec what you show them is all that theyll know. im in a marriage eerily like my parents and im scared, to be honest with the internet. i dont know how to change anything. sewita, youre very right that marriage should be respected and that is a value to be appreciated. all too often we do see selfish people treating marriage vows and others hearts as cheap toys, and that is unfortunate indeed. but try to keep in mind that not everyones experience is like your own. sometimes people are deeply lost down a dark road and the right path is not as obvious as wed like to believe.

Very similar to a situation I was in, I opted to stay with my two sons mom, my wife. It wasn't an easy decision, everyone got hurt in the end. My wife and I have issues to this day and also I find myself still hung up on my girlfriend, Some days its too much to bear. However that being said, my sons have their father everyday, and Im trying to build back up trust with my wife. Idk, I say choose happiness, one way or the other you gotta man up and make a choice, its rough, but dont miss out on your one true love, it'll keep you up at night, I know first hand... however i do get to see my sons every night and everyday, what are you willing to sacrifice for your own self interests?

Im in the same boat... The attraction to my lover is so strong and compelling why? I cant leave my 4 kids either for my selfish ways but Iam in love...She wants me to leave my wife but its the little thing about the kids that I will miss that I cannot give up at this point...this sucks

You've put yourself into this situation, and it is you who must deal with the consequences. You're not an innocent party here, no matter what you've led yourself to believe. If you decide to get a divorce, then the reality is that you will suffer the consequences. As a married father, your life is not purely your own. There are alternate interests which must be taken into account. Decide now, what is more important - your children, or your mistress. You can't have both on your terms.

It's nice to hear from "the child's" prospective... I think after one point kids really don't care if the parents were living together for their sake.. They go ahed with their own lives and at times may ask this question to parents that if they weren't happy then why are living together...<br />
My personal opinion is that let ur respective spouse understand the situation and on a lighter note u never know from mine and yours it becomes ours....<br />
My MM has twins and I love them so very much never felt like I they are not mine.... Though may be I could never see them ( long story) but for me they are my first child....

Follow your heart. Kids are flexible and easily bounce back or into a new routine. Why be miserable and have everyone around you feel that tension. Do what is best for you and the rest will fall into place.

My parents got divorced when I was 12 I'm 19 now I was the oldest of 4 my mom and dad shared equal custody but that was a rare thing but my advice is that if you really love this person then leave your partner but MAKE SURE YOU AREN'T BLINDED BY SEXUAL APPEAL!

Wow you are very mature for someone of nineteen. Thank you so much for your reply.